Innovation culture

An education non-profit organization with over 600 employees recently engaged in a multi-day innovation retreat designed to spur thinking around potential new business models, as well as explore new opportunities for collaboration across the operation.

Employees were brought from more than 75 operating locations to participate in the retreat. Each attendee had completed pre-work in the month prior to the retreat, allowing specialized clusters of conversations and thematic topics to be discussed in depth over the course of each day.

Based on Edison’s Five Competencies of Innovation™, participants received in-depth skills training around developing an innovation mindset, solving problems using whole-brain thinking techniques, developing daily habits which nurture innovation, forming collaboration teams, as well as analyzing market trends with the aim of developing new service offerings and business model options.

One portion of the retreat which yielded particularly fruitful results incorporated work decks including future trends for multiple industries beyond education itself. The work decks were accompanied by actual summarized data from the client’s industry, which enabled participants to balance factual information with projected possibilities. Output from this work session alone identified six possible new service offerings, two which incorporated a new business model.

The retreat yielded measurable results for individuals and work teams from each geographic location with regard to new analytical skills, working collaboratively, analyzing market potential, and driving individual behaviors which foster innovation and innovative thinking on an ongoing basis.